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Storytelling In The Things They Carried

792 words - 4 pages

Storytelling has been used throughout history to pass on stories and legends to other future generations. Tim O’Brien is effective in using storytelling as a theme constantly over the course of his novel. Storytelling is a brilliant way to allow readers to understand his experiences and memories of the Vietnam War. O’Brien is able to look beyond the gruesome and horrific details of the war and instead, uses storytelling as a way to share his own story and the lives of people he has known. He also is successful in writing and handling multiple stories in his novel. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien develops the theme of storytelling, which is used extensively throughout the novel, through ...view middle of the document...

68). He puts emphasis on the fact that true war stories are never righteous and that they should not be looked upon as examples of acceptable behavior. This means that the war is what really destroys morality and after hearing a war story, you should not feel uplifted. In “The Lives of The Dead,” O’Brien uses polysyndeton to explain how “memory and imagination and language” can help a reader connect and dream along with the writer. According to O’Brien, a story is merely a dream that contains all the memories and experiences out of your life. The stories being told are able to bring people to life and they help people cope with the realities. Storytelling saved O’Brien’s life and that is why he continues to write war stories.
O’Brien also makes use of imagery to show how stories give life to the dead. In “The Lives of The Dead,” O’Brien is able to see Linda and says, “I saw her coming down…wore a pink dress…All her hair had grown back…” (p. 158). In his dream he was able to will Linda alive and O’Brien correlates his dreams with his stories. By telling the story of Linda, he allows the reader to...

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